This research evaluated a computer-mediated intervention for preventing drug abuse and violence. Research participants were economically disadvantaged youth, defined as early adolescents from households with family incomes below the Federal poverty line. Based on cognitive–behavioral skills approaches shown effective in past research, computer intervention was compared with conventionally delivered intervention in a pretest–posttest, control group design. Outcome findings revealed that youth assigned to the computer or conventional intervention arms achieved more positive pretest-to-posttest gain scores than youth in the control arm on several variables. These variables were: how youth regarded people who used drugs, strategies for avoiding trouble, and ways for controlling their tempers. One item, the ability to refuse drug offers, favored youth in the conventional intervention arm over those in the computer or control arms. Combined with prior work on computer-delivered interventions, data from this study lend added support to the viability of computer approaches for preventing drug abuse, violence, and other problem behavior among early adolescent youth.
Keywords: Drug abuse, Violence, Adolescents, Computer intervention